Local Level Actions
Attend the City Council Meeting to Protect Renters on 04/24/17
Source: Bellingham Tenants Union
Description: Help encourage the City Council to adopt an ordinance for Tenant Notification of Voter Registration in Bellingham. There are thousands of renters that do not vote because they do not update their registration in time. Please attend the City Council meeting to protect renters on Monday, April 24, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at City Hall, Council Chambers, 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA.
If you can’t attend you can email the council firstname.lastname@example.org. Council Members Terry Bornemann, Gene Knutson, Michael Lilliquist and Roxanne Murphy need to hear from us most!
Background: Next week, members of the Bellingham City Council are considering taking one of the first major steps to protect renter’s rights by mandating that each renter whose units are inspected for safety receive basic easy-to-understand information about their rights and where they can go for help in addressing challenges with their landlords. We’re also asking that the City Council give renters the option of updating their voter registration with each inspection, as many renters miss out on the chance to vote when their ballots are mailed to an old address. These straightforward reforms enjoy the broad support of the Bellingham community, but your voice can be the difference. Please join us at City Hall on Monday, April 24th at 7:00 pm to ask the City Council to pass this first important step for renter’s rights and make sure that everyone who rents in Bellingham has access to the tools and information they need to exercise their collective power.By attending this meeting and speaking out, you’ll be giving thousands of people like you critical information about what problems landlords are required to fix, the documentation they must provide for deductions from deposits, and the greater ability to be heard by our local elected officials. Your voice is critical!
- Providing tenants with education on their rights and responsibilities will be a significant step towards making sure everyone in our community has access to safe and healthy homes.
- Many renters, especially first-time renters, don’t know the complexities of Landlord-Tenant Law and are susceptible to being taking advantage of, such as having their security deposit unfairly deducted or broken appliances not being fixed in a timely manner.
- Tenant education will benefit landlords and homeowner neighbors by ensuring renters receive education on their responsibilities to upkeep their home and property.
- A physical document, just like a lease, that outlines these rights and responsibilities isneeded. We encourage the city to ensure the document is available in at least English and Spanish to make sure it is accessible to our diverse community.
- The community of Ann Arbor, Michigan is an example of a city landlords are required to give tenants an info packet on tenant rights and responsibilities.
Tenant Notification of Voter Registration:
- Passing this ordinance would increase the number of registered voters and those able to participate in democracy. This is a really simple way to provide people some additional information on how to do that.
- This law could facilitate engagement in a demographic that is currently underrepresented in government, despite making up 54% of the population.
- Communities like East Lansing, Michigan and Minneapolis, Minnesota already have successful tenant notification of voter registration programs.
How to Make Effective Public Comments (Content adapted from Re-sources for Sustainable Communities “How To Make An Effective Public Comment.”)
- Speaking to the City Council directly at Public Comment is one of the most impactful actions you can take to make change in local government. Public Comment is a dedicated section of every regular City Council meeting where residents are encouraged to speak on public concerns and local issues, up to a max of three minutes. To speak during Public Comment, you can sign up on a clipboard at the council chambers shortly before the meeting starts.
- The best thing you can do is send an email or bring 8 copies of the email to the public hearing to give to the City Council and the City Clerk, and mention the email in your public comment. The Council email address is email@example.com.
- INTRO:Who are you? Where do you live? What are you speaking about tonight
- WHY:What is your “ask” for the Council? How will this decision impact you personally, and how will it impact the greater good?
- MORE DETAIL:Include outside references or your own expertise/view as a city resident regarding this decision.
- CLOSING:Reiterate your position. Thank the City Council for their attention.
- BE CONCISE:As mentioned above, you have only three minutes to get your point(s) across to the Council, otherwise you will be cut off when the Clerk announces time. It’s easy to get off track from what you’re trying to convey, which is why writing out your comment and timing yourselfbefore the meeting makes a difference. Try to stick to no more than three topics/points in your comment.
- SPEAK SLOWLY:This is another reason why practicing your comment before the meeting is important. The Council values your testimony and they know you’re taking time out of your evening to make a comment. Additionally, the City Clerk needs to understand what you’re sayingin order to record it for the public record.
- BE POLITE:Making accusatory “you” statements, such as “You should do (xyz),” is not helpful and undermines the key points of your public comment. If you’re frustrated with something the Council has or has not acted upon, then it’s better to rephrase your commentas “I hope you consider doing (xyz) because (abc).” Alienating the City Council does not work in your favor.
- TELL YOUR STORY: It is important to state that you’re a resident of Bellingham, especially if you live in a particular community that will be impacted by a City Council policy or action, or a lack of one. Additionally, be sure to mention if a policy or action has a direct impact to you, or if you have expertise in a certain industry or profession.
Additional Information: Please click here to join and spread the word on Facebook.
Education Funding: Testify or Attend the Senate Hearing in Olympia on 04/26/17
Source: Washington’s Paramount Duty
Description: We need a show of force this Wednesday in Olympia. Attend the Senate Senate Ways and Means Committee public hearing on SB 5929 at 3:00p.m. to testify in support of new revenue–capital gains tax, closing tax loopholes for big businesses, and business tax reform. The hearing will be held at the John A. Cherberg Building in Olympia, WA 98501.
Background: To kick off special session, Sen. Dino Rossi has introduced a revenue package for education funding (capital gains, B&O tax reform, closing tax loopholes). The bill mirrors Rep. Lytton’s which many progressives have testified in support of earlier this month. This hearing and this bill from Sen. Rossi are an attempt from the Senate to end the conversation on new, sustainable revenue for education and “prove” there isn’t support for it in Washington. Based on all the testimony we heard this year, we know this isn’t true. Washington is ready to fully fund education with new, sustainable revenue and we need our voices heard. Washington’s Paramount Duty will provide talking points and any other information you need to successfully testify.
RSVP Information: If you are able to attend, please RSVP to Aaron Horton: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, attendees from out of town are often given preference. Your voice could be heard.
If you are unable to attend but would be willing to be signed in as a “nonspeaking attendee” in support of new revenue, contact Lisa Van Doren at email@example.com with your name and city and your preference will be shared.
It is essential that we speak loudly in support of these new revenue sources and prove that there is widespread support for new, sustainable revenue in Washington State.
Additional Information: Click here to see the event details on Facebook. Click here to review the details of SB 5929.
Act by 04/28/17: Support Grizzly Bear Restoration in the North Cascades
Source: Friends of the North Cascades Grizzly Bear
Description: Submit a comment by April 28th to support Alternative C: Incremental Restoration, in the draft North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Restoration plan/Environmental Impact Statement.
Background: While native to the Cascades, fewer than 10 grizzly bears remain. The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extended the public comment period to April 28, 2017, for the draft North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Restoration plan/Environmental Impact Statement, which evaluated alternatives for the restoration of grizzly bears to the North Cascades Ecosystem. Three of the proposed alternatives lay out plans to augment the struggling North Cascades grizzly bear population under varying timelines, but one is a ‘no-action’ alternative. The science is clear: no action means grizzly bears will go locally extinct in the North Cascades. We cannot let this happen. Together, we need to show that thousands of individuals, communities, organizations and businesses support the return of a functioning grizzly bear population in the North Cascades through active restoration efforts. Friends of the North Cascades Grizzly Bear recommends supporting Alternative C: Incremental Restoration.
Suggested Script (please personalize your comments!): I am writing to voice my support for restoring a healthy population of grizzly bears to the North Cascades, their home for thousands of years. Specifically, I support Alternative C: Incremental Restoration, with additional bear transplants as needed to ensure sustained population growth. Alternative C strikes a sound balance to meet the mutual goals of grizzly bear recovery and the needs of people. I believe grizzly bears will benefit our region’s ecosystems and economies alike, and preserve true wildness for future generations to cherish and enjoy. During your scoping period and in recent public polling, broad support has been documented for grizzly bear restoration. Please do the right thing and bring back this native species through the strategy laid out in Alternative C. Doing so will restore an important piece of our ecosystem, regional culture, and natural heritage.
Contact Information: Submit comment online here.
National Level Actions / Other
Attend the OAR Teleconference to Provide Feedback on Air and Radiation on 04/24/17
Source: OAR Regulatory Reform-Clean Air Act Overview
Description: The Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) is hosting a public teleconference to obtain additional stakeholder feedback on air and radiation actions only. We invite you to provide input on these rules during the public teleconference, which will be held on Monday, April 24, 2017 from 11:00a.m.-2:00p.m. EDT. Information on joining the teleconference is listed below. For questions about this process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Participant Dial-in Number: (800) 305-3182
- Conference ID#: 8535873
Comment on EPA Rollbacks Daily Until 05/15/17
Source: Indivisible Washington Environment Network
Description: As required by law, the EPA is calling for public comment on the planned rollback of environmental regulations. Comment early and often to show your support for regulations and programs that protect the environment.
Background: The Trump Administration and EPA Director Scott Pruitt have proposed draconian cuts to EPA’s budget and roll-back of science-based regulations that protect us, our families and our environment. EPA oversees implementation of the Clean Water Act; the Clean Air Act; regulation of Toxics, Hazardous Waste Management and Disposal; and Superfund Hazardous waste cleanups. EPA also administers grants for brownfields clean up, environmental research, and environmental restoration–including the Puget Sound National Estuary Program. In accordance with Executive Order 13777 (Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda), EPA is seeking public comment on its evaluation of existing regulation. Comments must be received on or before May 15, 2017. We need to absolutely FLOOD THIS SITE with serious, well-thought-out comments.
Suggested Script: Comments can be simple (e.g. “I support the EPA. I support my government using science-based regulations to provide our country with clean air, clean water and a healthy environment.”) or detailed. Please keep your comments serious to ensure they are considered, and personalize them if possible. The Indivisible Washington Environment Network is offering 3 weeks of daily scripts to inspire your own daily comments to EPA.
Contact Information: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190, here. Under PRIMARY DOCUMENTS, click on the COMMENT NOW! Button. Add your comments in support of EPA. Click on YOUR REVIEW, and EDIT as necessary. Be sure to click YOUR RECEIPT before leaving the site. You’ll be able to view your comments as soon as you post.
From the Calendar
Every Monday: Attend a vigil hosted by C2C between 11:30a.m.-1:30p.m. or 5:00p.m. in front of City Hall. Show the powers that be that you stand by our undocumented workers and anyone else running afoul of ICE. Let the officials know it’s not alright to tear families apart! Also, a Dignity Dialogue will be held on May 15th. More details to come on the timing and location.
Monday, April 24, 2017 from 8:30-9:30p.m.: Ask Me Anything (AMA) with county council candidate Amy Glasser. This AMA will be held live on the Riveters Collective Facebook group.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 7:00p.m.: Whatcom Votes to Win! Interested in working with coalition members on a voter registration and mobilization effort? If so, please join the group at the Central Labor Hall, 1700 State Street #203, Bellingham, WA (north of Grocery Outlet). Contact Michael Shepard at Michaelshepard@gmail.com with questions.
Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 8:30-9:30p.m.: Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the Solar Jobs Bill with Dana Brandt and Markus Virta. The Solar Jobs Bill (HB 1048/SB 4955) is still in committee but could be passed this session. Dana Brandt, owner of Ecotech Solar & VP of Solar Installers of WA, and Markus Virta, director of sales and business development for Western Solar have agreed to take your questions on how to advocate for the best bill we can get. Please join on Reddit/RivetersWA. Visit Solar Strong WA to learn more about the Solar Jobs Bill.
Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 11:00-3:30p.m.: People’s Climate March in Bellingham at Maritime Heritage Park, 500 W. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225. On April 29th, a coalition of organizations will be converging on Washington, DC for the Peoples Climate March and Community2Community, Bellingham NoDAPL Coalition, Bellingham Racial Justice Coalition and 350Bellingham are co-hosting this sister march. For more information, please view the Riveters Collective calendar, or join and spread the word on Facebook.